To buy iMac or not?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by qwerty2k, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. qwerty2k macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    #1
    Anyone help me decide, i have 3 options, the 2 mac configurations and prices listed below or wait...

    Currently running a 2010 MBP, want to get a desktop, mainly going to use it for web design / programming (asp.net, c#, angularjs etc), general surfing and light gaming (Football Manager, locksmith 2014, civ v, sim city, maybe some wow or bioshock that sort of thing).

    Option 1: 2013 27" iMac
    £2,319.00
    3.5GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 3.9GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X4GB
    512GB Flash Storage
    NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M 4GB GDDR5
    Apple Magic Mouse
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (British) & User's Guide (English)
    Accessory Kit

    Option 2: Retina iMac 2014 27"
    £2,639.00
    4.0GHz Quad-core Intel Core i7, Turbo Boost up to 4.4GHz
    8GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2x4GB
    512GB Flash Storage
    AMD Radeon R9 M295X 4GB GDDR5
    Apple Magic Mouse
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (British) & User's Guide (English)
    Accessory Kit

    Reasons for waiting: heard that the Retina iMac runs quite hot, would prefer nvidia graphics as they tend to run cooler? The 2013 iMac is seems like I'm paying top dollar for an already out of date machine, not sure when they might update the non-retina models?
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    Either will do the job admirably


    Whichever takes your fancy they won't update the current Imac range until broadwell. Your use case will be well served by either Imac.
     
  3. imaccooper macrumors regular

    imaccooper

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #3
    I agree. Both will do the job just fine. If the 300 isn't too big of a deal then i would go for the higher specs mostly for resale value (and maybe to be able to brag to your friends that you have it), but honestly the first one will be just fine and saving 300 is always nice.
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    To be honest for the extra £300 you're getting a better processor, better GPU and a considerably sharper screen (if you're using it daily then screen quality/longevity might be a big plus). You're right about paying top dollar for out-of-date hardware with the 2013 iMac so IMHO between the two it's better to bite the bullet and pony up the extra £300 for a much better computer.
     
  5. theluggage macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    #5
    Anybody's guess - however, "never" is a perfectly plausible answer - the 5k is the "flagship" now and will probably completely replace the non-retina iMac within a year or two.

    Look what happened to the classic MBP when the retina MBP came out - just the 13" classic left now, and that's probably just filling an important niche market for a non-SSD laptop (or maybe they've just got a lot unsold!). I'm not sure the non-retina iMac has a similar "niche" value.

    It comes down to how important that £300 is to you - if you can afford it, I'd go for it, if you can't the non-retina is more than adequate for your needs.

    Oh, and trivia: I'd get the Magic Trackpad as the 'free' pointing device, and give it a go, it's great for some things. I still use a mouse for games & graphics, but I'd rather gnaw my own hand off than use a Magic Mouse*, so I'd need to buy another mouse whatever. Likewise, I'd also get the wired keyboard (with numeric pad). I can live with one wire on the desktop, the numeric pad is useful, its one less set of batteries, plus there's a 2-port USB hub in the wired keyboard just right for the little mini-dongle that comes with most wireless mice now.

    * Its too low and flat, it registers false clicks if it bumps something, doing gestures on it is like trying to do a Vulcan salute, it eats batteries and the battery contacts go loose after a while.
     
  6. qwerty2k thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    #6
    Thanks for all your replies, just so torn: want the 2013 model for the nvidia chipset, want the 2014 model as it's the latest and want to wait as the 295x runs hot and under clocks itself whilst running at 100 degrees c plus :(.
     
  7. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

    Joined:
    May 20, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    I'd instead go with a high-end 15" MacBook Pro. That satisfies your NVIDIA requirement (and probably will for a while given that Apple, more often than not, uses NVIDIA for MacBook Pros and AMD for iMacs) and has more than enough horsepower for what you'd be doing. They have also had time to work out the kinks in the post-Unibody-era "retina" body style of MacBook Pros. The body style of the retina iMac is unchanged from that of the non-retina iMac, but, like you said, this is their first run of it and they could stand to fine tune things. That said, I'd wait until February or March for when Broadwell comes out (and the MacBook Pro line is due for a refresh). But at that point, you're pretty much good to go.
     
  8. octothorpe8 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    #8
    Seriously. One of the worst mice I've ever used. For whatever reason, Apple *always* blows it when it comes to mice. Every time.
     
  9. MacScott macrumors regular

    MacScott

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2012
    Location:
    Indiana
    #9
    I got used to a trackpad and don't think I could ever return to a mouse.
     
  10. zone23 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    #10
    The angle of the trackpad tends to hurt my wrist. I still use it but only for short periods of time.
     
  11. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #11
    Not even close; get the retina. If you don't you'll regret it. Really. Buying that old iMac without retina would be like trading in an iPhone for a flip phone. I can see that some still need to get non-retina machines, but when you are considering a very similar machine with a screen that's inferior, the choice for the 5k iMac is a simple one.
     
  12. Starfia macrumors 6502

    Starfia

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    #12
    I think it comes down to preference – the *only* point of inferiority on the 5K is that I've seen a number of people report just the occasional lag or stutter during animation-intensive moments versus the previous. That makes sense; I'm sure it's tough to keep up with the enormous number of pixels, and choices were made about that. (The next iteration will have an edge on it, I'm sure.) And if you're not doing processor-intensive renders at all times, I'm sure you'll get by.

    I love the Retina display on the iPad, for example, but my 27" non-Retina iMac will be my main Mac for years to come; hopefully I'll have the rest of my life to enjoy Retina-quality graphics or whatever improves on them in the future, and the performance has never disappointed me, even though I do lots of intensive stuff.
     
  13. McGiord macrumors 601

    McGiord

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2003
    Location:
    Dark Castle
    #13
    If you go with the late 2013 model go with a refurbish one therefore you save even more.
    Otherwise wait until the 5K model gets refreshed.
    In the mean time if what you are after is a bigger screen get a large monitor or TV while you wait.
     
  14. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #14
    Agreed, the importance of retina will only increase over time. Yosemite is a hint at things to come.

    Although iPhone to flip phone is a bit extreme, it's closer to trading a modern iPhone for a iPhone 3GS.
     
  15. octothorpe8 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    #15
    For me it kind of depends on the use. I can't do complex Photoshop/Illustrator path drawing on a trackpad without totally screwing up. I feel like for that stuff, I'm able to get much finer control because I can leverage my whole hand on the body of the mouse and move it very minutely -- I'm using my index finger only for clicking while the rest of my hand moves the mouse around. With the trackpad, I feel a couple fingers are doing *everything*.

    But I do like the gestures you can use with a trackpad, so at home I have a magic trackpad pretty close to my mouse.

    In principle, the Magic Mouse *should* be great, but I just find it a terrible combination of the two.
     
  16. Mcdevidr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    #16
    Dont understand all the if you can afford it comments. If your spending over 3000 on a computer I doubt budget is the main deciding factor. In any case since they are so close in price, why not grab he retina.
     
  17. hjalte macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2014
    #17
    So, did you get any wiser qwerty2k?

    I am in a similar position myself.

    I am in the market for an iMac, but torned between the maxed out 2013 model and the new 5k.

    It's a lot of money to spend on a computer and it isn't cool if it's a half-finished product (which some of the threads here on the forum suggest).

    The screen is beyond beautiful, but if it's laggy and noisy, then it's not really worth it is it?

    Or maybe it's simply a matter of the 1% who have problems, tends to write 99% of the posts in here...
     
  18. qwerty2k thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2007
    #18
    Still not decided yet, mainly as i have a 23 month interest free offer on my credit card about to become active so waiting for that! I'm same as you though, don't want to spend a lot of cash on a half baked product, kinda why i was hoping for the anandtech review but that seems to be nowhere in sight.
     
  19. hjalte macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2014
    #19
    Yeah, I would love to see that as well :)

    I have looked at more or less every review, unboxing video, gameplay videos and everything else I could find (even the Japanese ones, lol).

    But there isn't any reviews from people who have used the machine for everyday work/play yet...

    I would prefer to buy mine before 2015 (due to accounting stuff), but I don't think will happen :(
     

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